Writing a test case is an often overlooked part of software testing. However, well-written test cases are crucial to the successful development and launch of apps and web programs.
A good test case can provide software testers with crystal-clear guidelines to help them perform their jobs efficiently. On the other hand, a poorly written test case can cause more harm than good and damage the development process.
This guide to test cases will help you understand what a test case is, along with its formats and types. We will also provide an introduction on how to write test cases.
What Is A Test Case?
A test case is a series of operations carried out to validate a particular aspect or function of your software program. A test case includes steps, preconditions, and postconditions created for a specific test scenario to validate any requirement.
The test case contains particular variables and conditions that a testing engineer uses to compare expected and actual outcomes. This helps ascertain whether a software product is operating in accordance with client requirements.
What are the types of test cases?
A wide variety of test cases are used to validate and verify different facets of an application. There are many ways to categorize the different types of test cases in software testing. One way is to classify them as formal and informal.
- Formal Test Cases : With these test cases, the tester writes a test in which the inputs are all known and detailed, such as the preconditions and test data. Formal tests have predefined input, which means they provide an expected output, which the test attempts to validate. A formal test is one where all inputs, such as test data and preconditions, are identified and documented. Since they have a predefined input, they give an expected output which the test attempts to validate.
- Informal Test Cases : These types of test cases do not have defined inputs or outputs. Testers use them to discover and record outcomes and real findings about the quality of the software. Most of the test cases used are formal in nature. They are planned in advance and executed to meet specific requirements.
Some of the other common types of test cases include:
- Functionality test cases
- UI test cases
- Integration test cases
- Performance test cases
- Exploratory test cases
Test Case Results
Test cases in software engineering can have a variety of objectives; however, the outcomes for formal test cases are usually predictable. This is because the test case format usually details the expected and actual outcome, which is validated by the test. Test results fall into the following categories:
- Not executed
Test Case Format
While the exact format for a test case differs by requirements and organizations, most include the following details:
- Test ID and/or name: This is a unique identifier created using a standard naming convention.
- Tester name: This is the name of the person conducting the test.
- Test scenario: This is the high-level action from which the test case derives.
- Assumptions or preconditions: This section documents the different steps that must be accomplished before testing or what we can assume about the test, e.g., “having a valid Gmail account for login.”
- Test case data: This is the data needed to execute the test.
- Test priority: Here, you must state if the test is a low, medium, or high priority.
- Testing steps: Describe the steps as well as the order for the tester to follow.
- Expected results. Here you will outline the output that is expected from the system.
- Actual results. This is the result you will actually receive from the system.
- Pass/fail determination. If the actual results are the same as the expected results, the result will be a pass. Else, the test fails.
Test Case Example
Here is a sample case using the test case template based above. Do note how all details are clearly stated to avoid any confusion.
- Test ID: #BSZ002
- Tester name: John Doe
- Test scenario: To authenticate a successful login on Outlook.com.
- Assumption or precondition: The user must have a unique Outlook.com ID and password.
- Test Data: A registered and legitimate user ID and password.
- Test priority: Medium
- Testing steps:
- The user opens Outlook.com
- The user clicks on “sign in.”
- In the “sign in” field, the user enters their registered email address
- The user clicks the ‘Next’ button
- The user enters their password.
- The user clicks the “sign in” button.
- Expected results: Once the email address/user ID and password are entered, the web page navigates to the user’s email inbox, where the new emails are showcased at the top of the screen.
- Actual results: As expected.
- Pass/fail determination: Pass.
What Are The Best Practices While Writing A Test Case?
Writing a good test case is an art. It must be simple enough for the tester to follow while being detailed enough to cover all key aspects. Here are some tips to keep in mind while writing your next test case:
Do not repeat test cases
Avoid the repetition of test cases. If a test case is needed for executing another test case, list it by its test case ID in the preconditions section.
Ensure test cases are easily identifiable
Name the test case using a standard naming convention to make sure it’s easily identifiable while tracking defects at a later stage.
The results should be consistent
The test case should produce the same results no matter how many times it’s executed or who the tester is.
Use peer reviews
Get your test case reviews by your colleagues to uncover issues you may have missed.
Make it simple
Test cases should be as simple and transparent as possible. You can use assertive language like “click on the sign in button” or “go to the home page” to make the steps easy to understand.
Keep the end user in mind
The ultimate goal of executing a test case is to create software that meets the customer’s requirements. This is why it’s essential to keep the end user’s needs in mind while drafting a test case.
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No matter the scale or scope of your company, we can help you launch a best-selling app that is free of bugs. Request a callback to find out more about our services.